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Full text of "My country and my people"

LITERARY    LIFE
"notebooks,** containing a wilderness of promiscuous* un-shifted, unscrutiiiized and unclassified data on all phenomena of the universe, with a preference for the weird and the supernatural. In popular bookshops the novels are also Included in this division. The Collected Works Division may be called the Literature Division, because it includes the collected works of scholars, literary criticism, and special collections of poetry and drama.
The array of sciences is more imposing than an examination of their contents would show. Actually, there are no special sciences in China, outside the serious sciences of classic philology and history, which are truly branches of exact classified know-ledge, and which provide fields for painstaking research. Astronomy, apart from the works of Jesuit disciples, is very near astrology, and zoology and botany are very near cuisine, since so many of the animals and fruits and vegetables are eatable. Medicine usually occupies the same shelf in ordinary book stores as necromancy and fortune-telling. Psychology, sociology, engineering, and political economy are hidden all over among the notebooks, and writers whose books get into the classification of botany and zoology in the Philosophy Division or Miscellaneous Records in the History Division achieve that distinction by the more specialized nature of their notes, but, with the exception of oustanding works, do not essentially depart from the notebooks in the Literature Division in spirit and technique.
Chinese scholars have briefly three lines in which to develop their peculiar genius: real scholarly research, political candidacy, and literature in the classical sense, and we may accordingly classify Chinese scholars into the three types, scholars, the gentry, and writers. The training for the scholar and the candidate of official examinations is so different that there must be an early choice between the two. There was a chujen, or candidate of the second rank, who had never heard of Kungyangchuan, one of the "Thirteen Confucian Classics" and there were many learned scholars who for their life could not have written an "eight-legged essay9* to pass the official examinations.
But the spirit of old Chinese scholarship was admirable. The